Where did Islam come from?
|Where did Islam come from?Part 2(Letter to Charlene Law - continued)
continued to extend his conquests through Arabia, personally leading
his armies in most cases. He lived a simple life in Medina when he was
not out doing battle. He did the usual chores that an Arabian man would
do and his life was not ostentatious. In 620, in the midst of his
conquests, Muhammad claimed to have traveled to the “farthest
mosque” on a flying horse, named Buraq, accompanied and guided by the
angel Gabriel. From there he ascended into heaven and was shown
hell as well as heaven. He spoke with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and
the other early prophets. Some Muslim theologians claim this was
spiritual, a vision. Others claim it was an actual physical journey.
632, he made his final pilgrimage to Mecca and returned to the home of
Aisha, his child bride in Medina. She was quite probably the
favorite of his twelve wives. He had married her at the age of 53. She
was only nine years old at the time and was the daughter of Abu Baker,
Muhammad’s companion in conquest, the first successor, a Caliph of
Muhammad. Aisha long survived Muhammad and exerted a powerful influence
on Islam. It was her father, Caliph (Successor) Abu Baker who extended
the rule of Islam into the Persian and Christian Roman Empires.
There in Medina at the home of his beloved Aisha, he came down with a
fever and died a few days later on June 8, 632.
Aisha cradled his head in her lap he asked her to dispose of seven
coins, all the wealth he had, and died. He was buried where he died in
Aisha’s house and the first two caliphs were buried next to him. There
is a fourth tomb next to these three graves which is said to be for
Jesus when he eventually dies. He was whisked away to heaven by Allah
to await his return to earth where he joined in the battle against the
False Messiah. He will rule the Islamic world, die and be buried. The
Romans crucified someone else disguised as Jesus, not Jesus himself.
story of Jesus is much simpler. Jesus was born in Bethlehem just south
of Jerusalem, some 600 years before Muhammad. He was born in cave that
was probably the storage space of a small house, where farm animals and
implements were kept. It is there to this day. His mother claimed that
she’d had a vision of the angel Gabriel and thus her miraculous
pregnancy involved no human father. His birth was accompanied by rumors
of angels and visits by shepherds and some odd travelers called magi,
from Iran. They bore expensive gifts and their presence brought down
the wrath of the paranoid Roman-appointed king, Herod the Great. Joseph
was forced to take Mary and her baby and flee to Egypt from whence,
after a few years, they returned to Nazareth.
He lived a quiet
life with his mother Mary, in Nazareth an unremarkable town in Galilee.
Nazareth means “Little Shoot” in Hebrew. That about says it all “What
good can come from Little Shoot?” Seems to have been a proverb at the
time. There couldn’t have been more than 200 people in the village,
most of them from the old threadbare nobility descended from King
David. They thus were mostly relatives of Jesus.
He lived there
quietly learning the building and carpentry trade from Joseph who
though not his biological father had raised him as a son. He probably
worked as a day laborer in Sephoris, two miles from Nazareth where
there was plenty of work. His only trips out were probably those
taken to Jerusalem for religious festivals. When he was twelve he
stayed behind to question the teachers of the law and when they
realized he was not in the caravan they rushed back to find him after
three days of looking. There he was in conversation with the rabbis.
was the only thing that seemed to have happened to him since his odd
birth that might indicate there was something unusual about the fellow.
He was quite undistinguished. He never married and when he was about
thirty years old, possibly at his mother’s insistence, he was baptized
by his cousin John, a radical reformer who had broken with the temple
and its priestly establishment. His disciples said that he experienced
an overshadowing by the Holy Spirit of God which forced him into
After this he began a preaching ministry and
gathered disciples and students around him. They claimed that he healed
the sick, expelled demons and worked miracles. These things are
reported in the memoirs of the disciples and quite possibly in the
writings of the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus. He drew the wrath
of the temple priests and their political/religious party, the
Sadducees who had him executed by means of crucifixion under Roman law,
not Jewish, when he was about 33 years old.
claimed that after three days he rose from the dead and claimed to have
seen him risen for a bit longer than a month after his death and
supposed resurrection. He told them to announce the forgiveness on sins
through the whole world. They held him to be the divine Word, the
divine manifestation of the God of the Hebrews.
There are some
interesting parallels and interesting differences between Jesus and
Muhammad. Both never wrote a book. It was their disciples who wrote
down what they said and did. Curiously, Jesus had twelve disciples.
Muhammad had twelve wives. Both announced the arrival of Kingdoms.
Muhammad announced the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) which is at
unceasing war with the rest of the world known as Dar al-Harb (House of
war) until all the world becomes Muslim or at least accepts Islamic
rule and superiority.
Muhammad vigorously extended the House of
Islam by military means, and commanded his followers to do likewise.
Jesus, at his trial, told the Roman governor that his kingdom did not
belong to this world. Muhammad was a victorious general. Jesus never
even owned a sword. Muhammad never claimed divinity. His title is
“the messenger of God.” He did nothing less nor more than deliver God’s
message. Jesus, if his followers are to be believed not only claimed
divinity he claimed that he WAS God’s message.
interesting of all, in both Islam and Christianity the tomb of Jesus is
empty. In Islamic belief it is empty because Jesus has not yet occupied
it. In Christian belief it is empty, because Jesus, though he once
occupied it, rose from the dead leaving it forever empty.
is buried in Medina next to the tomb the Muslims believe Jesus will
some day occupy. The tomb in Jerusalem where Christians believe Jesus
was laid to rest after his death on the cross is most certainly empty.
I have been in it. I have prayed in it. It is most certainly empty.
Happy Easter !
To be continued......
Here To Ask The Reverend Know-It-All A Question
Where did Islam come from?